While eBay Stumbles Off, I Might Stumble Back… Upon StumbleUpon

Give me a second to get over the self-induced confusion over that title.

Okay, done.

If you didn’t already know, I abandoned StumbleUpon a while back citing a couple of frustrations, including the toolbar. So my ears (fingers?) pricked up a little when I spotted, via Marketing Pilgrim/ReadWriteWeb, that SU has decided to offer a non-toolbar version of it’s service.

Honestly, I never used the “Stumble” feature anyway so this probably won’t change much. What I’m hoping is that this is the first step for StumbleUpon loosing the toolbar completely.

Amongst the recent talk about eBay looking to sell StumbleUpon it has been noted that the number using the service has fallen quite significantly from last year. It’s kinda unsurprising to me. There was plenty more buzz about StumbleUpon twelve months ago, likely prompting more sign-ups to the service, who have since left out of disappointment or frustration.

My opinion (and this is VERY speculative) is that the toolbar is a barrier to adoption. Just like many said it was for Joost, who abondoned their desktop client last month.

With the general shift towards moving applications off the desktop and onto the web, it seems backwards to require the use of a desktop application or add-on of any sort.

We’ll see what happens. For now, I’m going to give StumbleUpon another chance. Especially now I have a friend there!


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